PDA

View Full Version : Some Design Ideas for the Squeezebox



Jay
2006-09-02, 02:03
I recently purchased a Squeezebox in the US that I now use in India. Overall, it appears well designed, though setup took some time owing to static IP issues. The screen kept blanking out and this took me some time to realize it was actually doing something.

As I began to use this, it occured to me that the design could perhaps be enhanced and improved. Here are some ideas:

1. Device stand
Could have been made collapsible into the body of the device, with a lock when extended out. As it is, the ports are a little hard to get to.

2. Visualizing the device differently with a handle or strap
This thing is portable (within the coverage area of a WiFi), so why not make it portable? A collapsible handle, as with boomboxes, would be lovely.

3. Make portability a form factor
If it's portable, why not fiddle around with the form factor to give it that extra cache? I found myself wanting to lie down on the couch, with headphones, and tune into the device. Guess what? I had to wrestle with: (a) the stand which pokes out; and (b) tune in with one hand waving the remote! It didn't have to be this way - the device body sides could be made with rubberized holds to facilitate holding with both hands with controls on both sides that one could use with both thumbs. Provide a jog wheel to cycle through selections, up-down volume controls, equalizer controls, etc. The remote could be used if the device was hooked up to a stereo system, and the body controls if used as a personal device with headphones. All of a sudden, Squeezebox is no more a static piece hooked into the living room stereo system, but an iPod-like device that one can move around with, hold on to, what have you...imagine carrying this into any Starbucks and tuning into a zillion Internet radio stations and podcasts! Squeezebox could be an effective challenger to portable MP3 players and satellite radios.

4. On-the-fly link within any WiFi setting
If #3 above (the Starbucks idea) is to become reality, the Squeezebox needs to be made flexible enough to work in any WiFi environment, not just the home router it is linked to. An on-the-fly access to any public hotspot would be great to leverage its true potential. Maybe this is already possible, I don't know.

5. Ability to control screen font size
Why is this necessary? Because, with the above, Squeezebox could be not just an audio device, but also a device to read newspapers and magazines online anywhere, anyplace there's a hotspot. One could read the NYT while also tuning into the newspaper correspondent's audio feed, or just listen to other music.

6. External memory
Allow for people to use external memory, such as USB flash drives or SD cards so they could listen to stored music while reading a an online newspaper.

My 2c for what they're worth...

Jay

funkstar
2006-09-02, 02:38
some nice ideas i guess, but none of those wuold appeal to me.

One problem about making it portable is the VFD display is quite fragile, more so than a LCD screen in a MP3 player.

Adding extenal memory to it tunrs it into an MP3 player and moves away from being a SLIM device. not something i can see happening.

stinkingpig
2006-09-02, 09:39
On 9/2/06, Jay <Jay.2di2ab1157187901 (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com> wrote:...
In other words, you're one of the many who've requested a SqueezeBoomBox :)
Actually, you seem to be thinking closer to a SqueezePod, but that's not
nearly as frequently requested.

As funkstar pointed out, the existing implementation is not as portable as
you think. There was a guy some months back who broke his by dropping it,
and was very sad. Of course, if you search way back in the archives you'll
find the guy who put it in his backpack with an amplifier, some headphones,
and a bunch of batteries, or the other guy who travels with his and listens
to it in hotel rooms.

Wish number 5 there is way out of scope though, I can't see that working for
me. I already carry a laptop everywhere, and I also read quite a bit on dead
tree.

--
"I spent all me tin with the ladies drinking gin,
So across the Western ocean I must wander" -- traditional

Mark Lanctot
2006-09-02, 11:52
5. Ability to control screen font size
Why is this necessary? Because, with the above, Squeezebox could be not just an audio device, but also a device to read newspapers and magazines online anywhere, anyplace there's a hotspot. One could read the NYT while also tuning into the newspaper correspondent's audio feed, or just listen to other music.

Not sure what you mean by this. You *can* control the font size, are you saying that's a bad idea?

I don't agree. While I personally would never use the small font since it just leaves screen real estate unused, and the large font, while being eminently readable from a great distance, sometimes doesn't show enough information, it's nice to have the choice.